The Big Breakfast Adventure | Spring Hill

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

Today was bound & determined to be a GREAT day.  How could it not be?  Breakfast at one of my 2010 favorite breakfast spots with one of my {very} favorite people followed (after a few hours break, I might add) by dinner with another one of my {very} favorite people.  Put a nap & some chocolate in-between (plus my {very} favorite kitties) & I was sure that today couldn’t actually get any better.  I was right.  Of course you probably don’t care, but if you are wondering why I am packing so many food adventures into one weekend here’s the scoop.  There’s an event happening next week that has the potential to change the course of things, and it was {really} important to me that I spend some time with these favorite people ahead of that.  And hanging out with them over some good food just makes it all the more delightful.  And yes, there’s another full day of food & favorite people tomorrow.  Talking of events coming up…how on earth did it get to be nearly the end of January already?

When I got to Spring Hill this morning I was about starved.  Yesterday’s fabulous dinner of leeks & parsnips certainly…um…how to say this politely?…got things moving…so by the time it got to 9:45 am I was feeling empty, skinny & oh so ready for a great Big Breakfast Adventure.  I was pretty sure it was going to be a great breakfast since I had a great breakfast there in June & another great breakfast there in August.  Spring Hill had 3 of the 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle awards bestowed upon it.  Best Gluten-Free, Best Corned Beef Hash & Most Creative Egg Dish.  Today I was having the egg dish & I suggested to my breakfast buddy, the Extraordinary Ms. Fusman, that she might enjoy the Best Gluten-Free, mainly because she is a gluten-free girl but also because that Bone-in Ham Steak is utterly delicious.  Plus, selfishly, I just wanted to enjoy the aroma wafting over the table from it.

Bone-in Ham Steak & Cheese Grits

Since Ms. Fusman co-owns Seattle’s “Best of the Decade” Hair Salon & Spa, Mode Organic, I always panic a little before I see her in case my hair isn’t perfect.  Today was definitely a not-perfect hair day for me, so once we’d settled into our window seats I apologized profusely for my lack of hair perfection.  It was then that she whispered, “I wanted to just sling mine in a ponytail today but because I was seeing you & you are one of my customers I felt I needed to have perfect hair”.  How we laughed.  We girls can be so silly.  So we made a pact:  we gave ourselves permission to deliberately both have a bad-hair-day next time we had breakfast together.  Deal!

 The Most Creative Egg Dish turns out to be called Spring Hole: griddled bread with two eggs, sausage gravy.  The bread, when it came, could only be described as a hunk.  1.5 inches thick & fried until gorgeously golden brown with a hole cut in the middle wherein were deposited two eggs.  Served with a small bowl of sausage gravy & the ‘hole’ placed back on top of the bread.  Not something that I had ever encountered before although my breakfast buddy attests that it is more commonly known as Toad-in-the-Hole or Egg-in-the-Basket.  In England, Toad-in-the-Hole is sausages baked in Yorkshire Pudding batter.  Not to be confused with Pigs-in-a-Blanket.  Get all that?  Me either.  Whatever it’s called, it was terribly tasty.  Hang on.  I’ve never had a piece of fried bread that wasn’t terribly tasty.  Is it possible to have an un-tasty piece of fried bread?  Spring Hill get their bread from Dahlia Bakery, so really it was going to be a home-run once the chef had fried it.

Spring Hole: Fried bread with eggs in the middle & sausage gravy

 The sausage gravy was very flavorful; there just wasn’t enough of it.  The dish it came in was very annoying, albeit cute-looking.  Every time I went to dip, the gravy spilled over the lip, and I didn’t want to lose one tiny gram of that stuff.  In retrospect I should have ordered a side of zoe’s apple wood smoked bacon or some breakfast sausage along with my Spring Hole.  Not only was there a hole in my bread, but after I had gobbled it all up there was still a hole left in my tummy.  At which point I could really only go for the fruit & yogurt or apple beignets with vanilla sauce.  No prize for guessing which one I ordered up.

Apple Beignets, vanilla sauce

Having just spent 15 minutes being annoyed by the little dish that the sausage gravy came in, I was rather dismayed to see a matching dish carrying my vanilla sauce.  This one turned out to be even more difficult to navigate since the vanilla sauce was not as think as the gravy.  I dipped.  I dripped.  Repeatedly.  Those cute little dishes are just not designed for dipping.  Love the dishes, love the sauce, just not together.  The Apple Beignets were huge. In reality they were really very thick slices of apple dipped in batter and deep fried, which, while tasty (great job on keeping the apple firm, not mushy!) were not what I was expecting.  I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that American beignets are a pretty different animal to French beignets & that I need to change my expectations accordingly.  I ate them all.  They were a nice end to brunch, but I am not sure that I would order them again, simply because they differed so wildly from what I believe a beignet to be.  I still prefer Kate Shaw’s.  I am certain that they would hit the spot very nicely for most Americans.

Now, back to the Extraordinary Ms. Fusman’s plate for a second.  She loved it.  She loved the greens, loved the grits & loved the ham steak.  She also ended up having the same issue as I had when I ate it back last June:  mouth didn’t want to stop eating it, but stomach simply couldn’t hold any more.

wood grilled kassler bone‐in ham steak ‐ soft cooked egg, beecher’s cheddar grits, sautéed greens

 I have loved every brunch I’ve had at Spring Hill.  There are still about 6 dishes on their menu that I have to try.  They are definitely on my list of places to return to when I have finished the Big Breakfast Adventure.  I am almost there.  If I had one gripe about Spring Hill it would be that wretched 10 o’clock start time.  I have to snack before I go.  Can we have breakfast start at 8 am please?  Or even 9 am?  Please?

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  • Kate Shaw - SO very honored! Your breakfast adventures look even more lovely from where I now sit (up to my chin in homework with cereal to eat).ReplyCancel

  • Mark Reeder - The “Spring Hole” is called a ‘One-eyed Reilly” in New Zealand.
    I assume it has Irish origins!!ReplyCancel

    • cb - Mark – It’s amazing the number of different names this dish has globally, I am discovering! And that in all my travels I have never had it before. Thanks for connecting :-) Hello New Zealand!ReplyCancel

  • What A Dork! - Foodie Footnotes - […] to that which you would receive at Buckingham Palace, Ma’am.  Or, over in West Seattle, Spring Hill would, for $19, give me all that plus smoke from their real apple-wood […] ReplyCancel

  • Because Breakfast Isn't Breakfast - Review at Ma'ono & Shoofly Pie - […] favorites such as the Bone-in Ham Steak (I can still taste that bad boy almost 2 years later), The Spring Hole (that Sausage Gravy is the bomb) and the Corned Beef Hash (be still my beating heart), and headed […] ReplyCancel

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